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Academic Life

Taking 5 courses is definitely more than what I’m used to, but it’s actually not as bad as it sounds! After doing some calculations, it turns out that I’m in class for 200 more minutes here at DIS than at Davidson, isn’t that crazy?! Classes are longer and you meet for each class twice a week generally. The additional class also racks up more hours. The nice thing about DIS is that on Wednesdays, everyone collectively doesn’t have class. It’s honestly a really nice model and a good break in between the week. Could be something institutions should start considering…

Let’s get started with academics at DIS. The difficulty of classes really depends on each class, but I’ve generally heard that the courses aren’t as rigorous compared to students’ home institutions. The classes I’ve been in focus on having discussion-based classes which I relish, even though a lot of reading is assigned. I probably have around 3-4 tangible assignments that I hand in, so most of your homework would be readings to supplement class discussions and assignments. Additionally, we don’t have classes on Wednesdays because some courses may host a Field Study on those days, which allows you to take your education outside of the classroom – experiential learning! Overall, I’ve really appreciated and enjoyed the classes I’ve taken here. It’s nice that it’s not as rigorous as Davidson since it lets me focus on my time abroad and fully experience being in a new country, new friends, and self growth.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, classes meet twice a week so your classes are either on Mondays/Thursdays or Tuesdays/Fridays. I really like how it’s spaced out evenly because at my school, we do Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays and Tuesdays/Thursdays and I feel like there’s a significant imbalance in how often you see your class and the turn around time to completing work. I’ve loved all my classes and would recommend them! My core course is my absolute favorite especially as it pertains to my major and my professor is phenomenal. Professors here are also addressed by their first name which removes this sort of hierarchy that we’re used to having with professors — it really makes it easier to talk to them! I’ll give a break down of each class I’m taking now.

Travel Week 2 with Core Course in London!

New Media and Changing Communities B (Core Course)

Professor: Mie Oehlenschlæger

Days and times: M, Th – 11:40 AM – 1:00 PM

Like I said, best class ever. I’m taking this class because I wanted to get credit for my major and I’m so glad I’m taking it. Your core course doesn’t have to be related to your major, but a lot of students tend to take a core course that relates to their primary academic interests. Mie is so quirky and I love that she’s very much her authentic self — it makes it easier for students to connect with her and to have open conversations about academics and life in general. Her assignments involve mixed media and each one is pretty different from one another. She has an emphasis on presentations and I like how we essentially teach one another and it’s a great way to learn. The content we’re learning is so interesting and some topics we’ve explored include: data, algorithms, surveillance capitalism, political online targeting, propaganda, and more.

Visited Frederiksborg Palace as a field study to look at royal fashion

Meaning of Style A 

Professor: Anders Larsen

Days and times: M, Th – 10:05 AM – 11:25 AM

Decided to take this for fun since I had an extra class and wasn’t pressed on credits. I’m really glad because it’s also another one of my favorite classes at DIS and it’s much different from the types of classes I’m used to taking back at Davidson (they don’t offer fashion classes). The readings aren’t too heavy and provide a lot of context for the content learned that day. Anders teaches the material in a way where he makes connections to present cultural media that our generation is in touch with — which makes it so much easier and much more engaging to learn about. I really appreciate his style of teaching and he makes difficult academic material much more accessible to everyone through his teachings. The assignments are also very different from one another which I like! Topics we’re learning include: the body in fashion, fashion and gender and art, its relation to class, and the different meanings within contexts.

History of Sexuality in Europe

Professor: Lars Oskan-Henriksen

Days and times: M, Th – 1:15 PM – 2:35 PM

Needed a history credit left to fulfill my ways of knowing and I figured I might as well complete it while I’m abroad and I’m so happy I did so! There are way more history options that I was interested in abroad so I had choices which was nice. The readings assigned for this class are interesting and have broadened my knowledge on sexuality and queerness. The professor includes many guest speakers in our classes which I appreciate as we get to learn about the history of sexuality from multiple points of views from all over Europe.

Philosophy of Love

Professor: Anna Louise Strelis Söderquist

Days and times: T, F – 10:05 AM – 11:25 AM

Also needed a philosophy / religion credit and there were also different options abroad that intrigued me. Decided to take it on love since I’m sort of a romantic and I thought it would be cool to explore love from an academic standpoint. Readings could be intense at times, and a lot of them are from a variety of philosophers / and or love stories from the early ages. This class is very discussion based and we get to hear from everyone’s perspectives through the weekly discussion threads. The assignments are only two papers (mid-term and final).

Danish Language and Culture I

Professor: Jan Aage Rasmussen

Days and times: T, F – 1:15 PM – 2:35 PM

I love learning new languages and I had an extra class I could take so I was like why not. It really depends on the professor you get but my course was more culture-based at the beginning and then we slowly transitioned toward learning the language. Danish is definitely one of the most difficult languages I’ve ever learned, and I’ve learned about 5! The class gives good insights into Danish culture that would be hard to find outside of the classroom, especially if you don’t live in a homestay or kollegium.

That’s a review of my courses and overall, I’m super happy about the classes I’m taking and my course schedule. Definitely taking a holistic approach by taking a wide array of classes, and the teaching style and material is quite different from Davidson’s. I’ve really enjoyed my education at DIS and have appreciated this mode of learning, especially while I’m abroad. In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with the classes here!

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